900 first-home buyers to be helped in Waimakariri

Waimakariri news
Monday, May 18, 2015

About 900 Waimakariri residents are expected to be eligible over the next five years for Government support to help them into their first homes, Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says.

Doocey hosted Housing and Building Minister Dr Nick Smith at a public meeting last week in the Rangiora Town Hall to introduce the KiwiSaver Homestart initiative.

Dr Smith, who was born and grew up in Rangiora, said it was the first time he had been in the newly opened and upgraded town hall. The building was very different from the Rangiora Town Hall where he had had his first date, he told the audience.

Home ownership had also changed since Dr Smith had bought his first home.

“Census data shows home ownership has been in decline throughout New Zealand over the last 30 years,” Smith said.

Doocey said Canterbury was the third least affordable region across New Zealand, with latest statistics showing that 5.8 annual Waimakariri median incomes were needed to purchase a house at the median house price in the district.

“A second-chance component of HomeStart will be particularly significant for Canterbury residents who have lost their equity in their home in the extraordinary circumstances of the earthquakes,” Doocey said.

“A non-first home buyer who may not have been insured, who may have been under-insured or through some other extraordinary circumstances has ended up with no home and little equity will be able to receive a HomeStart grant if their equity is less than 20 percent of the new house price cap of $450,000 – so $90,0000.”

The HomeStart package has three components: the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant; the KiwiSaver First-home Withdrawals and the Welcome Home Loan.

“A couple living in Waimakariri, each earning $50,000 a year, will now be able to withdraw $35,000 from their KiwiSaver and qualify for a HomeStart grant of $20,000 – giving them $55,000 for a deposit towards a new home with no other savings. They will also be eligible for the expanded Home Loans scheme, which requires only a 10 percent deposit, meaning they will be able to purchase a home up to a value of $450,000,” Doocey said.